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'Most Rewarding Thing You Can Do': Homeschool Experts Offer Hope to Parents in COVID-19 School Shutdowns

04-06-2020
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It's been weeks since the COVID-19 pandemic shut down public and private schools across the country. Many parents are now forced to educate in a way they never imagined—or planned.
 
President Trump's decision to extend social distancing guidelines will likely lead most states to close schools through the end of this school year.
 
States operating under "stay at home" orders have interrupted education for at least 64,000 schools. That means millions of public school students are now shifting to virtual learning – and now their parents must oversee and even teach those lessons.
 
Erin Weidemann is a sought-after homeschool consultant, certified teacher, coach, and nationally-recognized speaker from San Diego. She says give yourself some grace as you face this new adventure.
 
"As you start out, trying to juggle all these things, set some expectations," Weidemann told CBN News. "Call a family meeting and invite everyone to speak about what they would like this situation to be. Really allow those values and your faith to steady how you're going to move forward in this season. It creates way less pushback and gets every 'student' at home to buy into the overarching theme which is: we're here to work together and we're here to be a family."
 
With the school year in question, Weidemann advises parents to take this new virtual learning day by day.
 
"So parents, I definitely want you to hold your schedules with an open hand and think of it more like an ebbing and flowing routine where you're going to put some parameters in place that will get you in a good rhythm, but then you're going to assess those rhythms daily to see what's working and change it if necessary," Weidemann says.
 
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Additional resources are pouring out from homeschool experts and educators across the country. The Texas Home School Coalition has created a free website called coronavirushomeschooling.com with actress and homeschool mom Sam Sorbo as a partner.
 
She hopes it will provide encouragement.
 
"I'm personally hopeful that this will convince parents that they are adequate and equipped to teach their children," Sorbo told CBN News. "The website right now has K-5 available for free – how to guide your day and schedule your day because I know there are a lot of parents who need that."
 
Some school districts are now considering summer school or starting the fall semester early to make up for lost learning. For now, Sorbo says she wants parents to know they are fully capable of successfully teaching their children.
 
"We have to realize that God calls us to teach our children, but we are educated in a system that teaches us we are inadequate and that's why parents feel like they don't know how," Sorbo said. "But I'm here to tell you, not only can you,  it's the most rewarding thing you can do as a parent, but the relationship you'll develop with your children because of it is beyond your wildest dreams."

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